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First time ESL teacher - Moscow vs cities outside Moscow

 
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lucifer911



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 6:21 am    Post subject: First time ESL teacher - Moscow vs cities outside Moscow Reply with quote

Hi all,

I am making the plunge this year to get to Russia. I have been researching the country thoroughly and have been attempting to learn russian in Australia to help the transition.

I have a TESOL qualification with business english and english for children. I have completed 1/2 of a university degree but I have stopped uni studies for financial reasons, time constraints, and likelihood of a degree not even having a worthwhile return on investment.

I am 31 years old and have previously worked in a private school with young children so I think this will help a little. I am, however, new to teaching english itself but I am confident in my ability to teach.

My dilemma is whether Moscow or a major city outside Moscow is suitable for a first time ESL teacher. As much as I want to work in Moscow the accomodation I will be provided with does not sound appealing. The high cost of living means all ESL teachers will be sharing with another teacher and I am not sure whether these are empty flats or furnished flats.

I have previously lived in shared accomodation with 2 chinese students but there was a strict screening process involved. Is Moscow a better idea than a city in Siberia? I know there are more jobs but this is offset by high cost of living and rent in Moscow. Smaller cities mean single bedroom apartments are more of a possibility but availability of jobs is limited.

I have looked at St Petersburg too but the cost of living there isn't much cheaper than Moscow and has fewer jobs. Would a city like Yekaterinburg be a better choice if I wanted to have my own flat instead of shared?

I guess it would also be far more important for me to grasp the russian language if I lived in a smaller russian city than Moscow.

Anyone have any thoughts and links to point me in the right direction? private schools, universities, mcschools (Language Link, English First, BKC)

Also if anyone has anyone specific schools or cities I should not work at please feel free.

Thanks all,
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9605
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am guessing that you have an online TEFL cert. If so, this may negatively impact your prospects, especially given that you do not have a degree.
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lucifer911



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
I am guessing that you have an online TEFL cert. If so, this may negatively impact your prospects, especially given that you do not have a degree.


Hi Spiral,

I completed a TESOL course conducted in Australia. There was an in class component and the 2 electives were completed online. The course costed approximately $1500..
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9605
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cost of a course is not the important factor; it's the number of hours in a classroom, teaching actual students, with feedback on how you've done. You'll need to highlight this on your CV.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1024
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:00 pm    Post subject: Think it over carefully! Reply with quote

Without knowing which kind of course you took-unless it was at least the 4 week one with attendance at a centre throughout-it may not be accepted at many schools in Russia. It is a daunting place for anyone to go for a first teaching job anyway and there are many pitfalls which you can read about by browsing through the many postings on this section of the site from various contributors including myself.
As for the question of which town, you would most likely get a private appartment to yourself outside Moscow but not always.....in the city they make teachers share because rents are so high but yes, they are usually always furnished, although style and quality often leave a lot to be desired!
Have you ever been to Russia before and do you have even a basic knowledge of the language? These are all factors which should influence your choice of which town. I would honestly suggest some more careful research before you make a decision to go and also question your motives?The accommodation is only one of many important aspects which you need to consider.Hope this is of use.
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lucifer911



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
The cost of a course is not the important factor; it's the number of hours in a classroom, teaching actual students, with feedback on how you've done. You'll need to highlight this on your CV.


I just checked my certificate. The 2 electives I completed were online and the inclass component only says 20 contact hours in person.

the website is www.teachinternational.com.au by the way I completed this course years ago.

would it be advisable to complete a CELTA course and maybe delay teaching in Russia until I have celta qualification? the celta course is 4 weeks in person and seems much better than the 1 week TESOL qualification. It is more expensive too..

I could start applying for jobs with this shortened version of a TESOL certificate or I could wait and finish the longer CELTA course with the teaching components of foreign students?

thoughts?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9605
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, 20 hours is unlikely to impress potential employers in this case.
It might be one option to take a CELTA in Moscow; useful bridge into country/culture/job market.
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lucifer911



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Yes, 20 hours is unlikely to impress potential employers in this case.
It might be one option to take a CELTA in Moscow; useful bridge into country/culture/job market.


I like this idea. Maybe if I fly to Moscow and complete their CELTA course before commencing a job? there was one teacher on this board who worked at BKC-IH Moscow with a minimum qualification but had the option of completing a CELTA qualification included in his teaching contract though he did say time was an issue in completing a celta course on top of his teaching job.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9605
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure. You will want to talk to the course provider about how not having a degree may impact your desirability with employers in the region. Also consider timing, so that you would finish the course in time to be involved in peak hiring season (not the dead zones of May/June/July/August for sure!).
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Brunouno



Joined: 18 Apr 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lucifer911 wrote:
spiral78 wrote:
Yes, 20 hours is unlikely to impress potential employers in this case.
It might be one option to take a CELTA in Moscow; useful bridge into country/culture/job market.


I like this idea. Maybe if I fly to Moscow and complete their CELTA course before commencing a job? there was one teacher on this board who worked at BKC-IH Moscow with a minimum qualification but had the option of completing a CELTA qualification included in his teaching contract though he did say time was an issue in completing a celta course on top of his teaching job.


I would only do this if money is of no concern for you. It would end up being very costly doing the CELTA in Moscow as accommodation, flights, tourist visa and other expenses will make it a very expensive experience. Even if you're offered a job while there, you will have to leave the country again to apply for a work visa. If you're in Australia, you're 100 times better off doing the CELTA in Phuket where you will stay and do the course in a resort for around $2000 inclusive of everything. You can then apply for a job while still in Thailand and then fly to Russia from Thailand. Many Russians travel to Thailand, so flights are relatively cheap.


As for working in or outside of Moscow, I would work outside of Moscow for sure if the opportunity arose. The students are less likely to be spoilt, rich brats and are much more likely to be better students as they are putting in their hard-earned cash into the lessons. This is speaking from experience.
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lucifer911



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought about this issue.. this clarifies everything and is a big help thank you. In an ideal world I would fly to Russia for a holiday and get on the trans siberian train then stay in Siberia followed by several nights in Moscow / St Petersburg then back to Moscow to start the Celta course. Obviously a trip like that would cost close to 10 grand AUD lol and I would still need to obtain the work visa before applying for jobs.

Also I have decided to get my bachelors degree first to make myself more qualified for the job and to save the stress of visa issues. Unless I was really fluent in russian and had a lot of contacts I would not try working in Russia without a degree or respectable TEFL cert.

I have noticed the CELTA course fees are not the same in each country. In Moscow they are charging 1100 GDP for the CELTA itself (about $2000 AUD). In Australia they charge $3200 for the 4 week CELTA course.. if I were to stay in Moscow and do the CELTA course the price of accomodation would make it much more expensive than doing the course in Australia.

I am curious with the Phuket idea but I wonder will employers look down on the CELTA course completed in Phuket rather than Australia? I ask this because the prices are not universal for the Celta course. There was a similar question asked by someone working in Beijing about completing CELTA course in Beijing instead of completing it in Europe.

Moscow is a hectic city and I am more curious in a smaller city maybe St Petersburg or a few others Yekaterinburg, Vladivostok etc.


Brunouno wrote:


I would only do this if money is of no concern for you. It would end up being very costly doing the CELTA in Moscow as accommodation, flights, tourist visa and other expenses will make it a very expensive experience. Even if you're offered a job while there, you will have to leave the country again to apply for a work visa. If you're in Australia, you're 100 times better off doing the CELTA in Phuket where you will stay and do the course in a resort for around $2000 inclusive of everything. You can then apply for a job while still in Thailand and then fly to Russia from Thailand. Many Russians travel to Thailand, so flights are relatively cheap.


As for working in or outside of Moscow, I would work outside of Moscow for sure if the opportunity arose. The students are less likely to be spoilt, rich brats and are much more likely to be better students as they are putting in their hard-earned cash into the lessons. This is speaking from experience.
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